Tag Archives: about me

Current State of Affairs 3/31/16

 

 Photo by: Hollie Barringer, Gulf of Mexico on the Carnival Magic
I’ve been listening the podcast Writing Excuses again and feeling somewhat guilty for lacking the focus to keep up with my writing. I’ve been able to make a few addendums to previously determined plot points in my novel. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve had this story idea for close to 8 or 9 years now and I have, admittedly, spent more time world building than actually writing scenes and dialogue to progress the overarching plot. It’s a problem. I really want to put my thoughts into words, but my focus is terrible. I’ve had much better luck with short form writing, but I definitely want to make progress on this novel idea.

One of my big excuses for awhile was that I didn’t have a laptop to work on because the hard drive crashed (don’t worry, I had my files backed up) and new computers can be pretty expensive. Writing by hand is exhausting for me because I have this ridiculous habit with a pen or pencil- I press down really hard on the paper and it literally hurts after awhile. Plus, my hand written notes tend to have an excruciating number of X’s, strikethroughs, margin annotations and revisions that make the legibility subpar. I can say, however, these are really poor excuses. The good news is that I finally ordered a new laptop and it arrived two weeks ago. I’ve got Word installed and I’m prepared to start organizing my timeline of events again because a lot has changed since I first conceived this story idea. My protagonist’s goals have changed drastically and her companion no longer plays the same role I first imagined for him. One major change that I’m quite proud of is that I realized I fell into the grasp of a common trope: the love triangle. I absolutely abhor love triangles as they never end satisfyingly. There are always hurt feelings or resentment and a sense of missing closure. I personally try to avoid these situations in literature, film, and in every day life. My solution isn’t clever, but it’s effective and necessary. I eliminated a useless character and introduced a much more interesting character and by changing the original role idea for one of my main characters I eliminated any conflicts with love rivalry and made a more realistic connection between my characters. Primarily, I wanted to avoid the dissonance of a love triangle from overshadowing the main plot. I felt that while character relations are essential to telling this story, any romantic drama is excessive. It’s a fantasy story, so the main plot is centered on a larger, world-changing scheme.

I also managed to solidify the main POV characters,  identify all secondary characters, and even eliminate a few other unnecessary roles to reduce issues with continuity, focus, and problem solving. Aside from tweaking my timeline, I need to settle on my paragon heriarchy and start writing some fleshed out scenes because I believe I’ve sufficiently pieced together enough world building material for a stand alone novel.

In other news, doctors have confirmed that the right side abdominal pains I’ve been getting since last year are because I have gallstones. I’ll be having a quick outpatient  surgery soon, and a week off of work following that, which might give me some much needed time to coordinate my thoughts regarding the direction of my story. I’m surprisingly not concerned about the procedure. I’m just ready to get back to my life because shortly thereafter my other half is coming to visit for a couple weeks. I am beyond excited! This will be his first time in Texas and I cannot wait to introduce him to my friends and family. I have plans to try and visit him again before the years end, assuming work is kind to me.

I hope everyone is doing alright and has enjoyed the start of the new year with spring in full swing and summer on the way. Feel free to leave comments, ask questions, or bug me. I’m always looking to make conversation 🙂

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Quick Facts

What sort of things get me in the mood to write?

It’s really random in my case. I can be walking down the street under a gorgeous sunset and suddenly look up in awe. I might marvel at the beauty of the world, or momentarily put myself in the shoes of someone else, onlooking the scene from a distance and BAM- There it is, a new story idea. Other spontaneous glimpses of inspiration have come from people watching at the University. I once sat outside the auditorium for an hour in the dark, listening to a violinist play beautifully from an upstairs balcony. The music reminded me of an opera house I visited many years prior and then suddenly my mind contorted the situation into something grim. I don’t know exactly where zombie apocalypse came into play, but the idea transformed from there and maybe one of these days I’ll finish that story.

What music do I listen to while writing?

Oh heavens, are you even ready for this? Everything. Okay, well not everything but pretty damn close. I can list a few (in no particular order) of my preferred bands, but I assure you they are probably not for everyone.

Florence and the Machine
Chavelle
Tool
Katy Perry (Did I just name Katy Perry and Tool in the same list? Hell yeah I did)
A Perfect Circle
All That Remains
Trivium
Poets of the Fall
Nirvana
Disturbed
Lady Gaga (sometimes)
Volbeat
Lords of the Rings soundtracks
Phantom of the Opera soundtracks
World of Warcraft soundtracks
Eminem

Need I go on?

What are some of my favorite books?

I think I’ve made a list of my top reads once before. I’ll go ahead and name my top three as of right now.

1. Steven Erikson
2. George R.R. Martin
3. Christie Golden

What kills a story for you?

Inconsistency, poor character development, glossing over description, and ignoring realism. Life is not without death, so don’t pretend it doesn’t happen. Peace is not without conflict, so again- don’t pretend it doesn’t happen. It’s okay to not write descriptive intimate scenes, and I actually prefer a story with minimal detail on the logistics of the act and more focus on the connection (the spark) between two individuals.

What interests you in a story?

Nothing draws me into a good book like chaos; those are my favorite kinds of hooks. I love character development and figurative language. In my opinion, the best stories are believable.